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Nap Time!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008
Are you high?

"Waaah... our voting system is too complicated for me!" says The Daily Cal.
Few of us can meet the expectations of the campus's election setup, which assumes-unlike any other ballot we'll ever cast in our lives-that voters can fairly evaluate more than 150 people at one time.
There are 113 candidates on the ballot if we add up every candidate in every office. That's double-counting those running for more than one office (sextuple-counting, in one case). For the math-challenged at The Daily Cal, remember that 113 is less than 150.
The majority of us respond to this impossible unwieldiness by not bothering to vote at all. Those who do tend to vote "straight ticket," picking a party and backing its entire slate.

Given that most students already vote by party, it makes sense to explore a new system-perhaps one of proportional representation-as a more straightforward alternative to the clunky version currently in use.
That's an awesome idea. Let's eliminate independents (who won 10% of the Senate positions) based on the unproven premise that most students vote by party (they actually vote by friendship, and then vote for the rest of the party if they're feeling generous).
Any political science major can confirm that "real-world" proportional representation systems tend to foster more parties, not fewer-so the intuitive fear for the survival of third-parties and independents might be unfounded.
More parties than what? Than a winner-take-all-by-district election? Because that isn't what happens in the ASUC elections. The current ASUC election system is actually quite conducive to results that are similar to proportional representation systems, except that those who win office aren't absolutely beholden to their parties.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/11/2008 12:26:00 AM #
Comments (3)
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this sounds more like a "it's what they have in europe so it be must be good!" than anything else.
Consider that most people don't have the sick amount of time to dedicate to the ASUC that you do.
I doubt I know more about the candidates than your average Daily Cal person. But I don't think eliminating the option of learning about them is the correct solution. If you want to vote by party, you can do that in the current system, too.

The Daily Cal hasn't actually identified a problem in this editorial, besides suggesting that the voting system lowers turnout. As pathetic as our turnout is, it's still much better than many student governments out there. If they think removing "vote for your friend" as an option would increase turnout, they're insane.
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